Queen Elizabeth might be forced to leave Buckingham Palace by a plague of mice in the kitchens, Britain's top-selling Sun tabloid reported today.
Palace officials had called in pest control experts and warned that they would close the kitchens if the rodents were not exterminated within a week, the paper said.
"I shudder to think what Her Majesty will say about the mice. It's absolutely disgusting," one palace worker was quoted as saying.
Closure of the kitchens would probably mean the queen would have to move from the palace, her London home, to Windsor Castle west of London if she wanted hot food, a royal insider told the Sun.
The paper said staff believed renovation work at the palace, including major excavations, might have provided the mice with a route into the kitchens.
"Evidence of a small number of mice has been found... Appropriate measures are being taken as a matter of priority," a a palace spokesman was quoted as saying.
"But absolutely no evidence has been found of any rats," the spokesman said.